Area’s ‘lost language’ is to be heard again

Oran Bagraidh, a band of ten of the UK and Ireland’s finest traditional poets and musicians which has brought an extinct dialect of Galloway Gaelic back to life through song, is set to perform in the language’s home area in May.

The collective will showcase tracks from its unique multilingual album to live audiences at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Fest in Lagwyne Hall, Carsphairn on Tuesday, May 28.

Promoting the area’s unique heritage and cultural diversity to Galloway youngsters, local children from the Glenkens will also have a chance to learn a Gaelic children’s song about Galloway, inspired by Oran Bagraidh, at a special workshop on Monday, May 27.

For the majority, this will be the first time children from Galloway have sung in Gaelic since it died out here in the 18th-19th Century, re-invigorating memories of past peoples and languages of the area and celebrating Gaelic heritage in the south of Scotland.

Oran Bagraidh is the result of an exciting residency which took place in Galloway in September 2018, inspired by the discovery of an ancient song from the region, the only surviving example of the extinct dialect of Galloway Gaelic, spoken across the region from the 5th to the 18th Century.

It comprises vocalists using five languages of Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Welsh, Scots and English and medieval instruments: crwth and northern triple pipes, as well as fiddle, harp, accordion and electronics.

Oran Bagraidh residency producer Katch Holmes said: “This project is an important exploration of language and culture in the region and was created to be enjoyed by the people in this area.”

The Oran Bagraidh will also play at Galloway’s Knockengorroch Festival on Sunday, May 26. Those attending are assured a trip in a musical Tardis!